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How Kate, Bieber and IMF turned Merrion around

ITS guestbook lists President Obama, Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga -- and these clients helped the Merrion Hotel check in a tidy profit last year.

One of the city's most exclusive hotels is on an upward trend -- and in many ways it can thank the IMF.

The Merrion in the centre of Dublin has accommodated celebs from the world of global politics to popstars worth millions of euros.

Despite hotel bosses saying that the market remains tough, the five-star hotel has returned a 40-fold increase in pre-tax profits.

Among its growing clientele are high-profile members of the IMF, who used the hotel as its base when it hammered out the bailout deal. They are now repeat visitors on trips to Dublin.

Actress Kate Beckinsale laid her head on the hotel's luxurious soft pillows while she paid a flying visit to the capital.

'The Boss' Bruce Springsteen rocked up with his entourage during his RDS show here.

President of the United States Barack Obama checked in with his wife Michelle -- although he never stayed.

Nevertheless, the hotel now has an international reputation as a top luxury venue in Ireland with stellar service.

The move is a marked turnaround from just four years ago.

In 2008, the hotel incurred a €607,000 loss, followed by a €568,640 loss in 2009.

The latest accounts released last week unveiled that profits jumped to €1.39m.

This is down to a significant turnaround in sales which have increased by 12.5pc to €15.32m.

Guests can expect to fork out anything from €250 for a standard room to €2,695 for the top end penthouse suite.

Its central location, historical building in luxury surrounds and proximity to key, upmarket shopping areas means it is the destination of choice for thousands of US and Japanese visitors.

The hotel is owned by Education Minister Ruairi Quinn's brother Lochlann, Glen Dimplex founder Martin Naughton and Hastings Hotel Group -- the Northern hotel company controlled by Billy Hastings.

But representatives told the Herald that they do not comment on end of year results.